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Beat the Heat: Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Summer bikingIn the hustle and bustle of summer fun, don’t forget about the dangers that can come from the heat. With unusually high outdoor temperatures, high humidity or intense exercise, our natural cooling systems can fail. This causes temperatures inside our bodies to rise to dangerous levels, causing heat illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Before you hit the beach, head to the ball field or take to the golf course, review these tips to stay safe in the heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids when you’re out in hot, sunny weather. Keep drinking while you are outside – even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Wear light-colored, loose clothing that reflects the sun’s rays and allows your skin to breathe.
  • Use wide-brimmed hats, umbrellas or tree shade to minimize direct sunlight.
  • Exercise in the early morning or evening hours to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  • Go inside if you begin to feel overheated. 
  • Switch up your outdoor activities when the temps rise. Try cooler activities like swimming, or at least take the intensity down a couple notches.
  • Always, always, always wear sunscreen. This may seem like common sense, but we forget it all too often. Wear a minimum of 30 SPF, and reapply at least every two hours.
  • If you do get sunburned, try a cool bath, calamine lotion or aloe vera, and some ibuprofen for relief. If your burn causes fever and chills, seek medical attention right away.

Ask your primary care provider if you have any questions about sun safety or your skin. If you do not have a primary care doctor, please call (319) 369-4444 to get help in finding one.

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